As we previously reported, at the end of last year, the New York city council passed a bill to require NYC employers with four or more employees to disclose in job postings – including those for promotion or transfer opportunities – the minimum and maximum salary offered for any position located within New York
California has always kept employers on their toes when it comes to changing employment laws. This year is no exception. Here is our roundup of the top 10 developments California employers need to know. (And scroll down to see what’s on the horizon!)
- Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the California state minimum wage increased to $15.00 per hour ($14.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees). As a result, the minimum monthly salary for California exempt employees increased to $5,200, or $62,400 on an annual basis (which is two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment).
For computer software employees, their minimum hourly rate of pay increased to $50.00 and the minimum monthly salary increased to $8,679.16 ($104,149.81 annually). And for licensed physicians and surgeons, the minimum hourly rate of pay increased to $91.07 .
Some counties and cities have imposed their own higher minimum wage rates, including Los Angeles, where a $15 minimum wage for all employers took effect in July 2021. The following local minimum wages took effect on January 1, 2022, regardless of employer size:
Some of your job applicants and employees in California may be alarmed if you tell them you sell their personal information. But you will have to say you sell their personal information if you disclose their personal information to third parties after January 1, 2022 without including certain data processing clauses in your contracts, as required by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). So we recommend reviewing these contracts to ensure they include the prescribed clauses if you wish to avoid being a “seller” of personal information.
You should also get ready to field data access, deletion, correction, portability and other requests from your employees and other personnel in California starting January 1, 2023. This will require implementing new protocols and training up your human resources and compliance teams. We also recommend tightening up your data retention and deletion protocols to limit the amount of information you have to review when handling data subject requests.
Do you use employee monitoring software or algorithms to help you evaluate job applicants? You should ensure that your use of these and similar tools address upcoming requirements regarding automated decision-making, risk assessments and the use of sensitive personal information. Note that the CCPA also currently requires employers to issue privacy notices to their California employees pursuant to a California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) amendment that took effect on December 16, 2020.
On December 15, 2021, the New York City Council approved a bill that will require NYC employers with four or more employees to disclose in job postings – including those for promotion or transfer opportunities – the minimum and maximum salary offered for any position located within New York City. The Mayor has until January…
On December 15, New York City released guidance on the new private sector COVID-19 vaccine mandate set to take effect on December 27. The new order is the strictest in that nation and comes amid omicron’s emergence, delta’s severity and the holiday season. Below, we provide answers to the key questions NYC employers may have to ensure compliance with the mandate.
Which NYC employers are covered by the mandate?
The mandate applies to any non-governmental entity that employs more than one person in NYC or maintains or operates a workplace in NYC (a Covered Entity), regardless of its industry. “Workplace” is defined as any place where work is performed in the presence of another worker or a member of the public, including vehicles. Self-employed individuals and sole proprietors are not covered by the mandate unless they work at a NYC workplace or interact in person with other workers or members of the public as part of their job duties.
What workers are covered?
Employers must collect proof of vaccination from all full- or part-time employees, interns, volunteers, or contractors. The mandate includes exemptions for those who:
- Work remotely full-time
- Only enter the workplace for a quick and limited purpose,
- Are performing artists or athletes who are not required to be vaccinated per the Key to NYC program, or
- Are granted a reasonable accommodation based on their religion or medical condition.
Purposes characterized as “quick and limited” include using the bathroom, making a delivery, or receiving an assignment before leaving to begin a solitary assignment.
To mitigate against a 47% increase in the seven-day average COVID-19 case rate and a 14% increase in hospitalizations, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the return of an indoor mask mandate — which will apply irrespective of vaccine status in many locations — starting December 15 and lasting until January 15. California is implementing this change because of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and increased travel and mixing of households during the holiday season.
So, just as things were starting to relax a bit in some parts of the state, the California Department of Public Health mask mandate once again tightens up face covering requirements for California employers. What do California employers need to know now?
Who & Where: A number of California counties — including Los Angeles, Ventura, Sacramento, and most of the San Francisco Bay Area – already have their own indoor mask mandates that were implemented in the summer and have no end dates. The new mandate does not supersede these existing orders, and thus will primarily change things for employers in San Diego County, Orange County, the Inland Empire, swaths of the Central Valley, and rural Northern California.
What & When: California employers must comply with the new order by requiring both employees and customers to wear masks in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, from December 15, 2021 to January 15, 2021.
In addition to masking, the state will now require those without proof of vaccination attending events with more than 1,000 people to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one day. The previous guidelines required a test within 72 hours. The state will also recommend those who travel in or out of California get tested for COVID-19 within three to five days.
What else are employers asking?
Some employers have questioned whether the mandate covers office settings where workers are 100% vaccinated. The answer is: “it depends.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the CDPH clarified that the new indoor mask mandate only applies to local jurisdictions that do not already have an existing mask requirement in place as of December 13, 2021. Thus, for example, because San Francisco already has an indoor mask mandate that allows stable cohorts of 100% vaccinated people to forego masks in indoor settings like workspaces and gyms, the CDPH clarification enables employers in San Francisco to continue allowing their fully vaccinated stable cohorts to go without masks if they otherwise meet the requirements of the San Francisco health order. (In the Bay Area, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and Sonoma counties have adopted similar exemptions and thus the same analysis applies.) Note that some counties and cities with mask mandates do not permit vaccinated persons to forgo masks indoors, and in such locations, the local order applies, but vaccinated employees must still wear masks.
Our California Employer Update webinar is designed to ensure that California in-house counsel are up to speed on the top employment law developments of 2021 and are prepared for what’s on the horizon in 2022.
With our “quick hits” format, we provide a content-rich presentation complete…
This year New York employers have had to scramble to keep up with many new employment laws, and next year promises more of the same. The latest: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s December 6 mandate that private sector employers require COVID-19 vaccines for their workers in NYC. If it survives expected legal challenges and takes effect December 27 (Happy Holidays!), the rule will be the broadest mandate of any state or large city in the US. From minimum wage increases, to regulations on the use of artificial intelligence tools in employee recruitment, to notice requirements for electronic employee monitoring, to New York’s fulsome response to COVID-19 through the HERO Act—private sector employers in New York have a laundry list of changes to implement and prepare for.
Below we highlight the 10 major employment law changes and updates that businesses need to know.
New York City Vaccine Mandate To Hit All Private Employers December 27
By the end of the month, all in-person private sector New York City employees must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to an announcement by Mayor de Blasio. The mandate, which will take the form of an order issued by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will apply to nearly 184,000 businesses and will not be limited to businesses in certain industries or based on company size. The mandate will most likely parallel the city worker mandate in that employers will, in certain instances, be permitted to make reasonable accommodations to mandatory vaccination policies for employees with legitimate religious or medical reasons, but will not permit any testing options in lieu of the vaccine. The mandate will not apply to fully remote employees or those who are alone at a worksite. The city has not yet announced whether employers will face inspections or fines if they fail to follow the mandate, but it intends to release implementation and enforcement guidelines by December 15, 2021.
The new mandate is the first of its kind on a local level while the federal vaccine rule for private employers with 100 or more employees remains on pause amid several legal challenges. The city mandate is also set to go into effect only days before the New York City mayoral transition, leaving future enforcement of the mandate uncertain.
- Stay abreast of further city announcements concerning additional guidance on the vaccine mandate.
- Operate under the assumption that the vaccine mandate will take effect December 27, 2021, and notify employees of the new mandate so unvaccinated employees have sufficient time to get vaccinated.
- Implement procedures to verify applicable in-person employees vaccination status and prepare to collect vaccination records as confidential medical information.
- Prepare to establish a mandatory vaccination policy and a process for employees to request exemptions, to the extent your business has not already done so.
- Begin considering operational contingency plans if your business expects that a significant portion of the workforce will not get vaccinated.
We identified and mapped out our most relevant blog posts, articles and video chats to serve as a quick and handy roadmap to recovery and renewal for your company.
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As companies call employees back to the physical workplace, more employers are electing to implement mandatory vaccination policies to keep employees safe amidst the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. In turn, some employees are seeking accommodations, asserting that disabilities or religious beliefs prevent them from being vaccinated. Employers should develop consistent standards for handling…